Issue No. 31 Winter
(February 2011)


ENS News

Word from the President

How nuclear education has shaped the nuclear debate

ENS activities on Education & Training

European Nuclear Society in action

NESTet 2011

Training to instil a Safety Culture


TECNATOM: Training for excellence

Vattenfall nuclear competence management: Co-operation in support of safety and performance

KSU maintenance training in Barsebäck NPP


Developing skills for tomorrows leaders

Learning and Development at Westinghouse Electric Europe

URENCO Apprenticeships

Education and training at NUKEM Technologies GmbH

Education and training at Ansaldo Nucleare

Meeting EDF’s human capital challenge in sustaining a nuclear renaissance


Transfer of knowledge: education and training possibilities at the Belgian nuclear research centre SCK•CEN


EHRON: linking human resources supply to demand

Member Societies in action

Austria’s Contribution to EU Nuclear Education and Training

The Finnish Nuclear Society (ATS): Education and training

New plans for nuclear education in Spain as part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

How to communicate to students about nuclear energy and job opportunities in the nuclear industry

The Nuclear Society of Slovenia – 20 years of international nuclear knowledge transfer

Young talents

What do young people say

„A taste of real life“ – an internship in a nuclear waste management company

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff


Pime 2011

Pime 2011
13 - 16 February 2011 in Brussel, Belgium


RRFM 2011

RRFM 2011
20 -24 March 2011 in Rome, Italy


NESTet 2011

NESTet 2011
15 - 18 May 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic













Meeting EDF’s human capital challenge in sustaining a nuclear renaissance

By Georges Servière, EDF, and Kevin Boram, EDF Energy

The EDF Group is facing a significant human capital challenge in sustaining the new nuclear renaissance in Europe and beyond.  In France, EDF has a strongly established human capital strategy to support the nuclear industry. This includes an ambitious long-term plan for recruitment, a large in-house training capability and significant technical and financial support for academic education programmes. However, in the UK, where the Group has ambitions to lead the nuclear revival, a strategy has had to be developed and implemented to ensure that the right human capital is available to deliver our plans. This was due in part to no new nuclear plant being commissioned in the UK since 1986. In addition, EDF’s ambition to be a leader in the world-wide renaissance of low-carbon, sustainable and affordable nuclear energy will only exacerbate any shortage of human capital unless steps are taken now to ensure a supply of highly qualified people is available.  The energy industry is able to offer exciting opportunities for getting top quality jobs against a backdrop of difficult economic conditions.

EDF Strategy

The purpose of this article is to set out the steps being taken by EDF and EDF Energy in the UK to ensure that their plans are not being jeopardised by a lack of the right people at the right time.

Planning for the future

With a five-year construction programme and a 60-year operating lifetime for new reactors the nuclear industry can only be described as a long-term industry. Also it requires specialised skills for which a significant period of training is required.  EDF Energy, working closely with EDF to ensure that group synergies are realised and knowledge transferred effectively, has developed a ten-year project to identify its human capital requirements.  This project identified that a recruitment programme of 8,000 staff is required in the next five years for all of EDF Energy’s businesses.  This includes customer services, generation and nuclear power plants - both existing and new build - and represents about 50% of existing staff.  Whilst much of the recruitment is to replace staff leaving EDF Energy for a variety of reasons it has been estimated that our nuclear businesses will require 10% more staff.

Planning for the Future

The project also identified that EDF Energy’s nuclear businesses are facing a number of human capital challenges:

  1. An ageing workforce with a significant proportion nearing retirement in the existing nuclear business

  2. Ensuring that the existing nuclear business continues to be properly managed with appropriate skills

  3. The requirement to develop new skills to support the delivery of the European Pressurised Reactor programme (New Nuclear programme).

In addition, other energy companies have plans to develop a nuclear programme within the UK and EDF Energy’s suppliers will also require additional resources to help EDF Energy implement its New Nuclear programme.  Without an adequately trained workforce available to the energy industry and its supply partners, delivery of the UK’s ambitious low-carbon programme could be at risk and also its cost could increase due to competition for scarce human capital.

Taking action

EDF Energy has taken action to ensure that it has available adequately trained people for its business by putting in place a six-point action plan.

  1. Deliver EDF Energy’s skills requirements by 2015.  This involves a range of initiatives including:

    • Creating strategic partnerships with training bodies such as Business in the Community, Bright Futures and Cogent (a sector skills council for nuclear and other high-tech industries). These organisations bring to EDF Energy additional training resources and links to education

    • Working closely with a number of universities to ensure that the courses offered are relevant and students are aware of career prospects within the nuclear industry

    • Expanding training facilities within the company to provide more capacity and also new resources such as EPR simulators

    • Improving the transfer of skills from retiring staff to other staff.
      As part of this strategy EDF Energy is investing £4.5m to establish two new facilities: an Energy Skills Centre, to provide nationwide training for EDF Energy and a Construction Skills Centre to provide training for the new build project. Both centres are near the proposed site for two new nuclear stations, at Hinkley Point, in Somerset.

    1. Deliver a recruitment campaign to recruit 8,000 talented professionals by 2015.

    2. Increase the UK’s talent pool of individuals with scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics skills.  A number of initiatives have been developed for schools such as the POD - an e-learning tool to develop awareness of sustainability and other events where EDF Energy staff work with schools and the wider community on sustainability projects.  This helps inspire children to see the possibilities of a career in the energy industry and increases awareness of the importance of sustainability. So far, over 2.5 million children have been involved in these programmes.

    3. Develop leadership skills within EDF Energy through assessment as part of the annual review process, leadership tool kits and training facilities.

    4. Impact on our community’s DNA to increase employability, particularly for those who have been unemployed for a long period of time.

    5. Educate our workforce and the wider public with regards to sustainability.  This is increasingly important with the implementation of smart meters and other initiatives that require a change in consumers’ behaviour in order to be fully effective.

    Concluding Remarks

    Since the privatisation of the UK electricity industry some 20 years ago, the main objective within the industry has been one of achieving energy efficiency savings through modernisation and economies of scale.  To meet the UK’s sustainability and low-carbon goals the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets has estimated that an investment of £200bn is required by 2020.  This is a significant change of direction and will require the industry and its partners to acquire new skills and resources leading to high quality employment.  This will offer welcome job opportunities at a time when economic conditions are difficult. In addition, to be fully effective EDF Energy needs to interact with the education and consumer communities to ensure that they have the required skills and knowledge to travel with us on this exciting low-carbon, sustainable and affordable energy journey.

Home l Top l Disclaimer l Copyright l Webmaster